The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance

The Watch


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County Council, January 3

Council member Pryor reelected to Chair
Sheriff Cannon reflects on mass shootings and gun control
Warwick Jones

As expected, Council member Pryor was reelected to the Chair of County Council. Council member Summey was reelected to the Deputy Chair. The voting was 5 to 4 for each of the positions. Council member Qualey first stood for Chair in opposition to Council member Pryor but after being defeated, stood for the Deputy Chair position where again he was defeated. Two Council members crossed party lines in voting. Council member Summey who switched his allegiance to the Republican Party during the year voted for Council member Pryor, a Democrat. Council member Condon, a Democrat voted for Council member Qualey.

Voting for the Chair was as follows. For Council member Pryor – Summey, Darby, Johnson, Rawl, Pryor. For Council member Qualey – Qualey, Sass, Schweers, Condon

Voting for the Deputy Chair was as follows. For Councilmember Summey – Summey, Darby, Johnson, Rawl, Pryor. For Councilmember Qualey – Qualey, Sass, Schweers, Condon.

The only other item on last night’s agenda was a presentation by Sheriff Cannon which included a video made by the City of Houston. In a short speech before the showing of the video, Sheriff Canon indicated that the showing had been catalyzed by the number of mass shootings in recent years, particularly that at Sandy Hook relatively recently.

The sheriff did not have an answer to stop these tragic events but reminded his audience of the reaction of passengers on Flight 93 during the 911 episode. When they became aware of what was happening, they took their own action. They thwarted the hijackers though still made the ultimate sacrifice.

The sheriff’s inference was clear. There is only so much law enforcement can do to stop those deranged and fanatic. Citizens should be aware of the limitations and be prepared to take whatever actions possible to avoid or take control of such events.

The video was entitled “Run, Hide, Fight”. Essentially that was the message of the video. It simulated a mass shooting by a lone gunman. It advised citizens to run if possible, but if not possible, to find a viable hiding place. And if this was not possible, fight. The final scene of the video had employees about to clout the shooter with heavy office implements as he pushed open a door but then there was a fade out.

Was it as useful video? Yes and No. The advice was essentially common sense. But in the same way that 911 created a greater awareness of high jacking and terrorist activities, the Sandy Hook incident, building on those that went before such at Virginia Tech, Columbine etc., has created a greater awareness of the possibility of random acts of wanton mass killing. And it is in this context that there has been a lot of public discussion as to what needs to be done to prevent them.

Council member Darby asked the Sheriff on the conclusion of his presentation as to whether he had a deeper meaning to his presentation? And in a round-about way, asked if there should be some form of gun control.

There was no hesitation in Sheriff Cannon’s answer. Gun control, in his experience, is not the solution to this problem.

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